Fans are still hotly debating the bombshell ending to The Last of Us season one, joining an argument that’s been raging amongst the gaming community for a decade. Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have set a very high bar for future video game adaptations, staying faithful to the source material while adding some very smart twists to make it work as a TV show.
Along the way, they were assisted by VFX studio Wētā FX, who helped bring this ruined world to life. Mazin and Druckmann explained in the show’s official podcast that they were lucky to be able to tap into their talents, with the popularity of the game meaning many effects artists jumped at the chance to bring The Last of Us‘ fungal monsters to life.
Wētā is still best known for its groundbreaking work on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, but now we’ve learned there’s a direct line between that trilogy’s Gollum and The Last of Us‘ fearsome bloater. Speaking with ComicBook, VFX artist Simon Jung confirmed that Gino Acevedo, one of the lead designers of Gollum, also worked on the Bloater and Clicker:
“Gino was heavily involved in the creation of the Bloater. He figured out all the proportions and some of the growths and yeah, it was a combination of game reference and what we had gotten from the prosthetic suit, and then what we had done in terms of concept work, and then some unreleased concept work from Naughty Dog as well, that Neil was generous enough to let us take a look at.”
Mazin is a huge Lord of the Rings fan, and was understandably excited to have Acevedo on board:
“It was pretty awesome having him on board knowing that Craig Mazin was such a fan of Lord of the Rings, when he heard that he was pretty blown away as well,”
With season two confirmed, adapting the 2020 PlayStation smash The Last of Us Part II, we’re eager to see what else they’re going to cook up. The sequel contains some truly disgusting advanced evolutions of the infected, so if they can capture that in grisly detail we’re going to be here for it.
Work on The Last of Us season two should commence by the end of the year, so we’re hopeful it’ll land on HBO sometime in 2025. Either way, we’re already missing the hell out of Joel and Ellie.
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